Bamboo Island

Though I didn’t mention it as one of my goals for my round-the-world trip, being on the beach was deeply embedded in my plans. I love the sun, the sand, the saltwater. Waking up to waves and not wearing shoes. There’s something special about losing oneself on the beach. And that’s exactly what I did on Bamboo Island (Ko Russei), just off the coast of Sihanoukville here in Cambodia.

Seeing as how there was just one guesthouse—the only place to sleep, eat and drink on Bamboo island—the place felt extremely isolated. Power is only on from sunset to about 11pm, maybe midnight. The only internet is one of those USB stick modems that you can rent by the half-hour from the guesthouse. Food is only served in the morning and early afternoon, and for two hours in the evening. The menu was fairly extensive—with western & local dishes—and the prices aren’t that bad, but still. Your options are always limited when on an island an hour off the coast.

But I loved it!

I liked the sound of Bamboo Island (in Cambodian: Koh Russei) from the very beginning. Word of a dorm on the beach was immediately appealing. Just $3? That’s nearly unheard of in Southeast Asia. In India, you could sometimes get an entire beach hut with a bathroom for that price. I don’t really think Cambodia is known for their beaches, but compared to the very few I saw in Thailand, Cambodia wins. Quite possibly even coming ahead of the beaches in India. (Sorry Gokarna, the day had to come at some point.)

My island life, as it turns out, is pretty awesome. Somehow I manage to wake up around 8am, something I’m completely incapable of elsewhere. A quick swim, some breakfast, a book, a hammock, eventually lunch, my Moleskine, my thoughts. Life is good. Repeat in the afternoon. Sunset. Dinner, drinks, loud music at night. Stars, phosphorescent algae, a campfire. Life is very good.

I spent so much time on Bamboo Island, on this beautiful Cambodia beach, just thinking. It helped that I was crossing a milestone on my trip, making me wonder about so much, but I’ve also been busy for a while now and haven’t stopped to just think. So I spent my days thinking…and putting my thoughts into my Moleskine. The pages just kept filling up, my mind a mess. I may be nearer a few realizations about where and what my future might entail, but I’m still miles away. My feet in the sand.

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